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Thursday, March 21, 2013

Thursday's Thoughts - Redemption

Something I've been thinking about the last few weeks has been redemption.  Not sure the word is really redemption, but that's what comes to mind when it happens.  Let me give you a somewhat embarassing example.

On Monday, a couple of weeks back the washer quit working.  It sounded like it was working but without the strength it needed to agitate it and finally it just didn't start at all.  In our house, no washer is a disaster.  Plus it's Monday - double disaster. 

So I remembered my mom and her "exercise program" in the village where I grew up.  2 buckets with some soap in one of them and her arms were the plungers.  This all equaled exercise to my mom.  She had a knack for find a way to laugh through the most mundane of things.  She turned things into a joy. 

I filled the utility sink with water and soap and let a load soak for an hour and then scrubbed by hand and rinsed the clothes.  I couldn't get all the water out like the spinner can, but it was o.k.  Four loads later, I finally was done.  And it wasn't that bad.  It would have been a lot worse to take two one-year-olds and a five-year-old to the laundromat. 

That night, Carpenter told me I should just call our favorite repairman.  "Give him some work."  We want to support him in his job and this was our opportunity.  This man had bailed us out on a Christmas Eve when our oven's heating element started sparking.

He showed up an hour or two after I called him,  which was fine with me.  Having caught up on the laundry yesterday, I had one load or so and if he was showing up I was NOT going to do it by hand.

He came down and looked inside at the snowpants that were still dripping from my attempt to put a lighter load to see if that would make the machine work.

 "Hmm."  He said.  I asked if the motor was bad, because there was a funny smell. 

"Nope, don't think so.  Probably rocks and sand in the motor."  Ugh, my heart sank, remembering that I had thrown Tank's uber-super muddy shoes in there to get them clean, and yes, of all the stupid things, I had not rinsed them off first. 

"Probably." I said, without revealing my utter stupidity of placing shoes thick with mud in the washer.  Praying all the while for it to be something - anything, but that.  And yet knowing that he knows machines and was probably - definitely - right.

We figured out how to tip the washer without tipping all the water out.  Then he lay down on the floor to look at the motor.  Out came a.....sock!!!!  In my head, came the word.....redemption.  I was relieved not to have to explain rocks in my motor, but a sock - socks are supposed to be washed in the washer.

It must have slipped between the drum and the outside of the washer.  It was one of Jules' and her feet are so small that it could have happened easily.

Now, I don't know whether the word is redemption or rescue.  I sure felt rescued from having to explain that.  It was as if God knew that I didn't need to explain to this repairman my stupidity - that it was possible for me to learn not to do that without having too many people know about it.   (But now you all do.)

This isn't the first time it's happened lately, or I definitely would not be confessing this to you.   I love how God cares so much for us. 

Now, the cross-roads have come.  A decision is being made in our house that is super hard for me.  It's hard because part of the reason it's being made is because I'm not doing a good enough job - whether it's ability or desire, I'm not sure. 

I see reasons for it besides my inability.  It's what we have always planned.  But it's brought so many tears since yesterday when I called the school to register my boys for public school.  I'm praying that my younger ones will still be able to go to the private school, as my failure at teaching leaves me unsure at how I would manage four younger grades when they need more help. 

You can only do so many things at the same time - and usually none of them well. 
That's my problem.  We've prayed each year for direction, so I don't doubt the past.   

I have homeschooled for 10 years, missing a year or two, but always had a pre-schooler I was teaching.  It's been my life.  To give it up now is one of the hardest things.  And yet for my kids' sake it's the best thing.  And now I pray for redemption (or rescue, whatever it is) that when they show up at school the first day, that they will be ready (socially, emotionally, and also academically).

In the grip of grace and His redemption,


  1. This was wonderful! It brought back memories of MY mom doing laundry with the manual ringer in Africa....and it reminds me that God blesses so very often with small graces that might not seem like much to outsiders.......but are WONDERFUL little rescues for busy, loving mothers who long to serve Christ. :)

  2. Wow. This was powerful, really powerful. Thank you for being so honest and real. I have the same struggle, the same turmoil, the same sense of failure over homeschooling. And, when I think of sending them to a "real" school, I have fear over the fact that everyone will KNOW I have failed! I will be praying for you.